Let’s get physical

to get all the benefits

When I started running in high school, the physical benefits were the last thing on my mind.

My parents were forcing me to participate in a sport, and I didn’t know anywhere else where I would be able to see boys running without their shirts every day. Plus my neighbors ran, so it gave me a ride home other than the big yellow bus 🙂 I quickly learned that, while the boys did run with their shirts off, and I was getting physically more fit, running was about so much more than that.

I had a little bit of clarity in my life – I was more focused in school, I slept better at night, and I had a strong peace of mind throughout the day. Most importantly, I also found some of my best friends once I joined the team. Not those casual friends that you talk with at practice and forget about when you leave, but those friends that you can call crying at 2 am, or that you can show up unannounced on a Friday afternoon. These are people who challenge me, inspire me, and help me stick to my goals. My teammates and their families became an extension of my own family- they are the first ones I call when I succeed, and the ones who are there to pick me up when I fall.

When I continued running through college, I experienced the same external benefits from running. After college, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere where I would be able to find those types of friendships. And while I still had my college and high school friends, they have all scattered around the country to live their own lives. I felt stuck being back so close to my hometown, and I was not sure what I was going to do to find new friends, or how to get my life back in order. I tried running on my own, but I could never really get it to stick. Work would get in the way, or I would get sad and stop. Plus, it was difficult to challenge myself to continue to get better, when I had fallen so far behind in my training.

That is where LAUGH came into my life. I realized that many of those same crucial parts of my life didn’t have to disappear – I just needed to go back to the beginning. When I first started to find order and clarity in my life, it was as part of a team. When I joined LAUGH, I realized it was another team, for the new stage of life I was in. I had something to look forward to, blossoming friendships, and a newfound sense of confidence – all were sorely lacking at the time. So now I post the question, what about you? What non-physical benefits have you gained from being part of LAUGH?

 

Developing A Daily Routine

One of my goals for 2017 was to read my Jesus Calling, a book I received about 4 years ago, but not something I had consistently made part of my daily routine. There are a couple key points that made this book something that I felt I could reasonably incorporate it into my daily routine.

  1. Its short. Like, an average of 150ish short. My mom has a weekly small group where they have a devotional, and she does hours of work for it each week. I just got out of school, I am NOT about to go back to the homework daily grind. 🙂

 

  1. I felt the book was meeting me where I was at in life. As a 26 year old single female who works full time and owns a house, I have been feeling a little lost in who I am. I am not a recent college graduate, fresh faced and excited about finally being an adult. (Adults, that was a cruel trick you played on kids. It is not as exciting to be an adult as we were led to think.) But, at the same time, I am not settled into being an adult either. I am not married, and while I have a job I enjoy, I have no idea what I want to do when I “grow up”. I always feel like I am in some middle ground, floating and waiting for some directly. I am a task-oriented person, so when I was given directives and had something to follow, I felt a little less like a floater, and was able to keep my feet on the ground.

  1. Finally, and most importantly, this book was meeting me where my faith is at. I grew up in the Church, and have been learning about God since I was born. I was not looking for something to explain Christ’s story to me, but rather, I was looking for something that would help me cultivate a personal relationship with Him. But- like I said above- I am not ready to be a full adult yet. So my Jesus Calling helps me cultivate a habit while helping me grow as a human, and a Christian. So, to sum, I would encourage you to find something that can fill that niche in your life. Maybe for you, it is Jesus Calling, or maybe not. It can be a small group in your church, more regular prayer time with your family, or 5 minutes where you are alone with your coffee and your God. Whatever it is, take the time to find it, and then hold on to make a priority